Methylphenidate

Methylphenidate are a central nervous system stimulant. Its mode of action in humans is not completely understood, but it is thought to exert its stimulant effect by activating the brainstem arousal system and cortex. The mechanism by which Methylphenidate produces its mental and behavioural effects in children is not clearly established, nor is there conclusive evidence showing how these effects relate to the condition of the central nervous system.

It has effects similar to, but more potent than, caffeine and less potent than amphetamines. It has a notably calming effect on hyperactive children and a "focusing" effect on those with ADHD.

Recent research1 may begin to explain how methylphenidate helps people with ADHD. The researchers used positron emission tomography (PET - a noninvasive brain scan) to confirm that administering normal therapeutic doses of methylphenidate to healthy, adult men increased their dopamine levels. The researchers speculate that methylphenidate amplifies the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, thereby improving attention and focus in individuals who have dopamine signals that are weak, such as individuals with ADHD.

When taken as prescribed, methylphenidate is a valuable medicine. Research shows that people with ADHD do not become addicted to stimulant medications when taken in the form prescribed and at treatment dosages. Another study found that ADHD boys treated with stimulants such as methylphenidate are significantly less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol when they are older than are non-treated ADHD boys.

Because of its stimulant properties, however, in recent years there have been reports of abuse of methylphenidate by people for whom it is not a medication. Some individuals abuse it for its stimulant effects: appetite suppression, wakefulness, increased focus/attentiveness, and euphoria. When abused, the tablets are either taken orally or crushed and snorted. Some abusers dissolve the tablets in water and inject the mixture - complications can arise from this because insoluble fillers in the tablets can block small blood vessels.

Concertatm

Concertatm is an extended-release formulation of methyphenidate tablets for ADHD treatment which is designed to last throughout the day with just one dose. Methylphenidate is the most commonly prescribed medication for treating and managing ADHD. It has been used safely and successfully among children & adults for more that 25 years. Concertatm is an integral part of a total treatment program that typically includes behaviour modification and medication.

For more information on Concertatm click here

Ritalin®

Although Ritalin® has been used therapeutically for the last 50 years, little is known about the drug's mechanism(s) of action. Latest study indicates that Ritalin® works by significantly increasing levels of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, in the brain, thereby stimulating attention and motivational circuits - enhancing one's ability to focus and complete tasks.

For Consumer Medicine Information on Ritalin® click here

For a fact sheet on Ritalin® click here

For the drug monograph for Ritalin® click here